Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A Timely Word Of Wisdom To Canadian Pro-Deathers

I consider Bill a friend and colleague. He makes eloquent sense here in strongly suggesting that Canada not become another pro-death nation.
A message to my Canadian neighbors
By: Dr. Willam Toffler, MD
Since assisted suicide has become an option in my state of Oregon, I have had at least a dozen patients discuss this choice with me in my practice.  Most of the patients who have broached this issue weren’t even terminal.
One of my first encounters with this kind of request came from a patient with a progressive form of multiple sclerosis.  He was in a wheelchair yet lived a very active life. In fact, he was a general contractor and quite productive.  While I was seeing him, I asked him about how it affected his life.  He acknowledged that multiple sclerosis was a major challenge and told me that if he got too much worse, he might want to “just end it.” “ It sounds like you are telling me this, because you might ultimately want assistance with your own suicide- if things got a worse,” I said.  He nodded affirmatively, and seemed relieved that I really understood what he was feeling.
I told him that I could readily appreciate his fear and frustration and even his belief that assisted suicide might be a good option for him. At the same time, I told him that should he become sicker or weaker, I would work to give him the best care and support available. At the same time, I told him that no matter how debilitated he might become, that, at least to me, his life was, and would always be, inherently valuable. As such, I would not recommend, nor could I participate in his assisted-suicide.  In response, he simply said, “Thank you.” more

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